Friday, October 9, 2015


Paul Prudhomme
The culinary world lost a pioneer.  Many of you may not know him by name, but you may have eaten or at least heard of his creations.  Renowned chef Paul Prudhomme passed away yesterday after a brief illness.

He invented "Blackened Redfish" a dish that became so popular in home kitchens and restaurants, Redfish harvesting was temporarily halted to allow their stock to replenish.

He also popularized "Turducken" to American audiences.  For those who haven't heard of that, it is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck which is then stuffed into a deboned turkey!  Yep!  If you've never had one, trust us when we say, you are missing out on an amazing culinary experience.

The cajun chef authored 9 cookbooks and hosted a wonderful PBS show that showcased his Southern/Cajun/Creole cooking.  He also created a line of cajun and creole seasonings that have been used worldwide for years.

2nd Man and I hope to take a culinary trip to New Orleans next year and his restaurant will be on our list for sure.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Image courtesy of
OK, this is probably outside the realm of possibility, at least while we aren't at the farm full time, because I'm guessing this has to be watered CONSTANTLY to stay looking this nice.  But STILL, it's so pretty.  Maybe it's just the Fall and we're starting to miss the bright colors of Spring and early Summer but whatever, they are beautiful for sure.  

I'm not even sure what flowers they all are.  Oh and how I bet the bees would love something like this, ha.  

Be inspired! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Sometime yesterday, our little corner of the Internet reached a milestone...

When I started our blog a few years ago, this counter was ZERO.   

I still remember when the little counter flipped over to 1 and 2 for the first time.  I told 2nd Man "LOOK!  Someone visited the blog!".  

Then there were 100 and 1,000 and 10,000 and 100,000.  No way we could ever do much better than that, or so we thought.  

Then it was 1,000,000...

And then 2,000,000...

Just last February, we reached 3,000,000!

And now, not quite 8 months later, we have added another million!  That means we are currently averaging 125,000 page views per month.

You cannot even begin to understand what it means to us.  We get a lot of comments from you, some post them here, some email directly to us and of course, many visitors just come, stay a bit, read, and leave.  But you all keep coming back.  

We started this blog as a way to keep track of what we were doing at the farm, starting from scratch.  Thought it might be fun to share with friends and whoever else might want to come along for the ride.  Yet, here we are, four years later, well on our way toward getting to the farm full time.  Along the way, we've shared laughs, we've made friends (so many of you have touched us with personal emails and even surprise gifts that mean SO very much to us), we've shared dreams and hopes, failures and plan changes, even the loss of my Grandfather and our beloved cat Sydney.  We've changed jobs, bought more land, built buildings and fences, cleared new areas and raised vegetables and started beekeeping...and now we're about to move to an apartment downtown, the last step on our journey to the country!

It's been a great ride with so much more to come, we hope you'll hop into the passenger seat (it's a BIG car, LOL!) and stick around for the rest of the journey. 

We do believe it will be time for a giveaway soon in honor of this milestone!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Along one side of the fence in the backyard in town, our realtor told us to get a few plants with some height and put them in a few large clay pots we had.  I'm guessing she was thinking tall evergreens but she never said, so you know me...

...I stumbled onto some fruit tree bargains!  SCORE!  

That counts as tall and sorta green right?

A local garden center had a scattering of plants on "end of summer" clearance.  Most were nothing that we wanted, but as I dug around in the jumble of random bushes and trees, I found these:

Ein Shemer apple tree
One "Ein Shemer" apple tree...a variety that is on our list of trees for our area of Texas.  it's a yellow apple (red varieties just don't grow well here).  We already have one apple tree in the ground, so this will be a second on the property.  The other one has struggled a bit but we're willing to try other varieties and see what works best for us.  It was $5.00.

Plum Trees
Then two plum trees!  They are two of the only three that the county agriculture office recommends for our county.  One "Methley" and one "Santa Rosa".
Also $5.00 each.  

And lastly, I found at another location, a peach tree!  "Texstar" variety, another for our area.  (sorry no pic).

$20.00 for four fruit trees, each about 7 feet tall!

I can't plant them yet of course, that will have to wait, so I placed them in the clay pots and covered the tops with Spanish Moss so they "look" planted.  Hey, a few more fruit trees were on our list of things to do this year so that counts for something.  Win win!  Now I just need to keep my eye out for more.  

Is there such a thing as too MANY fruit trees?  I think in about ten years, we'll probably say "NOPE!", ha! 

Monday, October 5, 2015


We knew this was a possibility when we started beekeeping.  Things don't always work out though.  Sadly, we lost one of our hives.

This is "Persephone" hive...I noticed there was no activity around the entrance...NOT a good sign.  So I took the top off...

Empty, abandoned hive
...and found this.  It looks almost like a new hive.  It might as well be because they never even moved up into this "super".  Just a few random bugs that decided an empty hive made a good new home.  

Below is the lower section, called the "brood box"...

Dead hive can see where they built out honeycomb but it was all for nothing.  I tried to do a post mortem on the hive but there was nothing to find.  There were no hive beetles, no invading pests that I could find.

 The hive next to it, "Ariadne" is just fine.

Lots of bees going in and out (always a good sign)...

Bee with pollen basket
And here is a lovely lady coming in laden down with pollen doing what she (and the others) are supposed to be doing.  You can stand next to it and literally hear it buzzing with activity.  

So, we're not sure what happened.  The empty hive was just that, empty, abandoned.  A few dead bees in the bottom but not the hundreds you'd expect to find. It is not unlike the description of CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) that is affecting beekeepers around the world.  This hive has been weak from early on.  It could be a weak queen who died before they could create a new one?  Or perhaps they swarmed when we weren't around to see it?  

So, a bit of a bummer BUT we still have another strong hive that we need to see through the Winter and help it start the Spring healthy and strong so we can get our first honey next year.  

Now I just have to take apart the empty hive, clean it, and store it away.  I'll have details on that when I do it.  There are special instructions (thank you JM!) on how to do that the best way for future use.  Oh, and we need to order another bee package for next year.

For now, it's onward and upward!

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Got the property mowed today, but alas that was all I got done.  It took a long time because I haven't mowed in a few weeks.  I have a feeling though this might just be the last time this season.  I mowed it pretty short, so we'll see what happens over the next few weeks.

Sour cream cake with ice cream
But when I got home, we had dinner and then this for a fabulously delicious dessert...sour cream cake and vanilla ice cream.  


Hope you had a great weekend!


Most every Sunday, we try to post an image of old posters that we find during online surfing.  We enjoy the ones that reflect farming, gardening and/or food preservation and rationing.  We enjoy them because we often wonder if anyone today would heed the kind of advice they gave back then...enjoy!

Join the Women's Land Army, image courtesy of Wikicommons
During WWII, when it was a male only army of course, women were tasked with keeping things going at home.  Britain and other allied countries (this one comes from the UK) started the "Women's Land Army" to have women work in the farming industry to replace the jobs and responsibilities of the men that left to go to war...because as this poster says, FOOD COMES FIRST!

I dare say they probably did a better job!

Off to the farm this morning, not sure what all I'll get done, not sure what will need to be done, but with this cool weather, I'll do whatever I can.

Saturday, October 3, 2015


I saw this clump of 'weeds' in an area of tall grass because the color caught my eye when I was walking past it. 

Together, they formed the prettiest "natural bouquet' I've seen yet.  2nd Man said it looked like something a bride would be carrying down the aisle.

Natures flower bouquet
I agree, it was just beautiful to see in person.  I wanted to cut it and put it into a vase just like that but alas, we know how that would have ended.  

Off to run "open house" errands in town, then Sunday will be off to the farm to see what I can get done out there.  Our weather today feels like the first real, true day of Fall.  It's GORGEOUS!

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!